A hot hunt at an 1880's Queen Anne style home


Hero Member
Jan 27, 2015
Morris County, NJ
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
Detector(s) used
Minelab Equinox 800
XP Deus 2
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Hi everyone. Here in New Jersey yesterday it was very hot and humid, but I braved the elements to hunt the backyard of this beautiful 1880's Queen Anne home here in town.
I focused on the backyard because the owner explained that another detectorist here in town had already extensively hunted the front yard. He claimed to her that he only found a few buttons, but I know the guy and I suspect that anything good went in his pocket... But anyway....

A few weeks ago I met the owner when she had a "barn sale". I stopped by the sale and asked her directly if she would be open to me detecting her property. She responded that I was very welcome to detect there, but explained about the previous detectorist. Undeterred I made plans to return that afternoon after the sale ended. Before I left I bought four Ball jars (two blue, two clear) with the zinc lids and milk glass intact. I'm now using those to store some of my finds that don't deserve stand-alone display.
Later that afternoon when I returned I first tried the front yard area, but the previous detectorist had done a great job clearing it. I didn't find a single coin anywhere. As I made my way around to the backyard area it started to rain, but I pressed on - determined to find somewhere he hadn't cleaned out. After about 90 minutes and in the pouring rain I finally found the 1937 Mercury dime pictured below. I ended my first hunt there, and I took the dime around to the porch where the owner was sitting with a friend. I showed the coin to the two ladies, and the owner was excited by the find and kept the coin (which I had offered before beginning my hunt).

Yesterday I finally had time to return and finish my hunt of the backyard, and it was a pretty good one.
An early target - and my favorite of the day - was the Indian Head Cent, which looks in the picture to be 1880, 1886 or 1888. Sadly when cleaning it with an Andre's pencil the final digit of the date got worse and I'll never know for sure what the exact year was. (My son took this opportunity to remind me of how many copper coins I've ruined with my "cleaning" and he feels I should stop trying....)

Other notes on finds:
  • The buckle is a RAU Fastener Company (Providence RI) from the first half of the 20th century (probably 1940's).
  • The silver dime is a 1958 and was found on the last pass through the lower backyard right before I called it a day.
    (I say "lower" backyard because there's also an "upper" backyard beyond a stone wall; apparently the upper area was the old horse stable area, so it'll be interesting to see what I find there in a future hunt).
  • The other coins were more modern, although there's a 1914 wheatie mixed in there (I already have that one in my book, unfortunately).
  • The pile of stuff in the middle-right is all lead, but no discernible shapes - just junk lead.
  • I don't think the button is very old, but it seems like tombac so it confuses me.
  • The wing-looking thing is part of a Made in the USA toy, but no more info is available unfortunately.

Anyway, thanks for looking and I'll post again when I detect the upper backyard area.

- Brian



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Upvote 12


Bronze Member
Apr 1, 2021
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
Detector(s) used
Denise-Nokta Legend/Garrett Apex Nox600
Bob-AT Max/ Nox800
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Great finds! Can't wait to see what else you find there!

Calabash Digger

Gold Member
Apr 18, 2016
🥇 Banner finds
Detector(s) used
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting


Gold Member
Mar 16, 2011
San Diego
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
Detector(s) used
XP Deus 2, Equinox 800, Fisher Impulse AQ, E-Trac, 3 Excal 1000's, White's TM808, VibraProbe, 15" NEL Attack, 5X10 Joey, Steath 920ix and 720i, TRX, etc....
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
1880 would get my vote.

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